Court hears evidence in INLA membership trial

Garda uniforms and two bulletproof vests were found in the boot of a car which failed to stop at a garda road block, the Special Criminal Court heard today.

Garda uniforms and two bulletproof vests were found in the boot of a car which failed to stop at a garda road block, the Special Criminal Court heard today.

A Dundalk man, who was the passenger in the car, was arrested on suspicion of INLA membership.

Anthony Lee (aged 33) of Carnbeg, Doylesfort Road, Dundalk, County Louth has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Detective Garda Jonathan O’Rorke told the court he was in the town on December 20, 2007, monitoring the activity of the INLA.

Det Gda O’Rorke said his unit was alerted to a VW Passat car, spotted leaving a house in the town, and his unit was ordered to stop it. When gardaí blocked the road and activated the blue flashing lights, the car failed to stop. It collided with a garda jeep before coming to a halt.

Det Gda O’Rorke said there were two people in the car, and that Anthony Lee emerged from the passenger side.

A search of the car boot revealed two bags, a black hold-all and a plastic bag which contained garda uniforms and two cream bulletproof jackets. Two black bomber jackets were also found. These were emblazoned with an assault rifle logo and “Republican Socialist Movement Dundalk” on the back.

He said he arrested Lee at the scene on suspicion of membership of an illegal organisation, the INLA, and Lee was brought to Balbriggan garda station for questioning. He added that Lee had two Nokia mobile phones and two different coloured gloves in his possession.

Detective Garda O’Rorke agreed with defence counsel John Phelan SC, that there was nothing unusual about these particular items.

The trial continues.

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